Lippett, Drummond receive B1G POY awards

Pair make up two of five Spartans honored as first-team all-conference, as Trae Waynes, Jack Allen and Shilique Calhoun joined them.

Tony Lippett became a go-to receiver for Michigan State this year and Monday night he was recognized for it.

The Spartans senior was named the Richter-Howard receiver of the year as the best wide receiver in the Big Ten. He also was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and the media.

“Tony Lippett has had a remarkable season, and he’s become an outstanding leader,” coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “With more than 1,100 receiving yards, he has put together one of the top six single-season performances in school history while leading the Big Ten in receiving yards per game. Tony is a big-play receiver, and when the pressure is on, he’s going to make the clutch catch.

Lippett led the Big Ten with 11 receiving touchdowns, 1,124 yards receiving and 93.7 yards per game. He finished fourth in the league with 60 receptions.

He was joined an individual award winner by senior safety Kurtis Drummond, who won the Tatum-Woodson Award as the defensive back of the year. He is the second straight Spartans to win the award after Darqueze Dennard was honored last year.

“Kurtis Drummond is an extremely hard worker, who has been a three-year starter and two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection,” Dantonio said. “Kurtis has great ball skills and awareness. He’s the quarterback of our secondary.

“With what we expect from our free safety, Kurtis is really isolated a lot and almost plays like another cover corner, especially with the way the game is now stretched horizontally. He’s an extremely confident player, who performs his best in the big games.”

He had 65 tackles, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Defensive end Shilique Calhoun, cornerback Trae Waynes and center Jack Allen joined Lippett and Drummond as first-team All-Big Ten by both players and coaches.

Calhoun followed up a season in which he won the Smith-Brown defensive lineman of the year award by having 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

Waynes stepped into Dennard’s spot at the No. 1 cornerback for MSU and had three interceptions.

“Trae Waynes is an outstanding cover corner,” Dantonio said. “We place Trae on an island because he has the ability to run and play the deep ball. He’s also an excellent tackler, especially on the perimeter."

Quarterback Connor Cook, offensive tackle Jack Conklin and offensive guard Travis Jackson were named second-team by both the coaches and the media, while linebacker Taiwan Jones was named second-team by the coaches.

Cook led the Big Ten in passing yards with 2,900 and yards per game with 241.7. He threw 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions.

Jones finished with 54 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss. He was an honorable mention choice by the media.

Running back Jeremy Langford, defensive end Marcus Rush, tight end Josiah Price, linebacker Ed Davis and punter Mike Sadler were named honorable-mention by both media and the coaches.

Langford has posted 16 straight games against Big Ten teams and finished second in the conference with 19 rushing scores. He ran for 1,360 yards.

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